Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Proofreading...Oh, The Horror!

I feel I should begin this post by saying that I am a terrible speller and have been all my life. Okay, I'm a better speller than I used to be, and much better than when I was a toddler, but as an adult with an advanced degree in English, I'm not very good.

I think there's even a condition for the way I form words. I haven't done a lot of research into it. For me, I write or type the word and to me, it will look correct, even though sometimes it's not. The vowels give me the biggest headache. Thank goodness my wife is an excellent speller. Many a time I've asked her to help me with a word and 99% of the time she's right. When we both get it wrong, I open Google and use the search function as a Spellcheck.

And I rely too much on Spellcheck--way too much.

Since getting into this writing thing I'm doing, I've read a lot of books, both from established publishing organizations and from self-published authors. One of the biggest slams against self-published works is that they're full of errors, grammatical and otherwise. I've read many self-published books and yes, they have errors. I've also read some from established publishing houses and small press publishers and they have mistakes in those books, too.

So, on tonight's commute, I was reading a book written in 1962 and published by Berkley Medallion Books in arrangement with G.P. Putman's Sons. On page 212, middle of the page, I found an error. I'm not writing about this to sound superior. It's just that as I read books growing up, I never saw the errors. I've often wondered how all those books were published before the age of computers without any errors.

I suppose mistakes in books have been occurring as long as there have been books. This makes me feel a little better that in my own self-published book released last January, there's a few "bugs" I didn't catch. Of course, the more we do something, the better we get at it. That's the theory, anyway. My next project might have no problems at all.

1 comment:

  1. What would I do without spell check? Being such an avid reader starting in elementary school, everyone assumed I would be good at spelling, as the two often do go hand in hand. But alas ... I ended up working as an editor for a magazine project some years ago and my family was a little surprised I could be in such a position. My spelling did improve, and of course I still had a couple copy editors going over things as well. I do notice things in the books I read too ...